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UC San Diego NACO Searching Guidelines

Catalogers keep the database clean by searching for related records before contributing an authority record to the LC/NACO Authority File.

So how does this keep the database clean? By the following:

  • To prevent duplicate NARs
  • To prevent conflict in authorized access points and variant access points
  • To gather information from existing bibliographic records.
  • To identify existing records that may need to be evaluated and re-coded for RDA
  • To identify bibliographic records that may need BFM

Duplicate NARs

Duplicates are normally created by inefficient searching and the 24-hour upload gap in the Name authority file.

Before creating a name authority record:

  1. Search the OCLC authority file for the authorized access point, including variant forms of the access point.
  2. In addition, search WorldCat for bibliographic records that contain the authorized access point or variant forms.

If you put your record in a save file, remember to search again if more than 24 hours have passed.

If you encounter duplicate records in the authority file, be sure to notify your NACO Coordinator so the records can be reported to LC.

Conflict with Existing Authorized and Variant Access Points

In your searching, you will sometimes encounter authority records for different entities that have authorized or variant access points that conflict with access points on your record. You must resolve these conflicts before you can contribute your record. If you don't have adequate information to modify the conflicting access points in your record, then you may modify access points in the existing record. However, you should exhaust all possibilities first before you modify an authorized access point in an existing record. Modifying existing AAPs requires that every library using that AAP update their authority and corresponding bibliographic records so this is not a trivial undertaking.

So what is a conflict? It is a normalized match between:

  • 1XX and a 1XX in another record
  • 4XX and a 1XX or 5XX in another record
  • 4XX and a 4XX in the same record

And what does "normalized" mean? That refers to the NACO normalization rules found here: http://www.loc.gov/aba/pcc/naco/normrule-2.html

Note that a 4XX may normalize to the same 4XX string in another authority record. This is not a conflict.

Gathering Information from Existing Bibliographic Records

When you search the bibliographic file (in our case, WorldCat), you will sometimes find records that have additional information about the entity you are establishing. These additional bits of information can include (though not limited to):

  • Variant usages. Usages can be taken from transcribed elements in the bib record (e.g. statements of responsibility, quoted notes, etc.). Do not take variant forms from recorded, non-transcribed elements.
  • Birth and/or death dates in access points.
  • Fuller forms of name in access points.

Identifying Existing Records that May Need to be Evaluated and Re-coded for RDA

If you are creating a new authorized access point that uses a 1XX from another authority record as the base element (e.g. name/titles or subordinate bodies), then that 1XX from the other authority record must be established according to RDA or be RDA acceptable.

If the record with the base element has this note, then you must upgrade it to RDA:
667   THIS 1XX FIELD CANNOT BE USED UNDER RDA UNTIL THIS RECORD HAS BEEN REVIEWED AND/OR UPDATED.

The presence of this 667 is a clear indication that the 1XX field and the other fields in the existing record must be evaluated. During Phase 1 of the authority file conversion from AACR2 to RDA, authorized access points that were not good candidates for a global, mechanical change were identified with this note.

If the review indicates that the 1XX can be used under RDA as given, the cataloger should remove the 667 note, add any additional elements needed, and re-code the record to RDA. If the existing 1XX needs to be updated to be made acceptable for use under RDA, the cataloger should revise the authorized access point, make a reference from the former 1XX when applicable, remove the 667, add any additional elements needed, and re-code the record to RDA.

It is also important to be alert to changes that might be needed in records NOT flagged as needing review. Some examples are: persons with numerals at the end of the name, or terms like Jr., Sr., père.

Note that we are strongly encouraged to upgrade RDA acceptable records to RDA as well.
See the PCC Post RDA Test Guidelines for more information.

Identifying Bibliographic Records that will Need BFM

In some cases you will need to notify LC to update their bibliographic records when you add or revise an authority record. This most often happens when you create a new record whose authorized access point differs from what's in LC's bibliographic file. However, if you are making a one-to-one change on an existing AAP in an authority record, then you most likely do not need to report the change to LC. Confused? Don't be. The NACO website has clear guidelines for reporting BFM here: http://www.loc.gov/aba/pcc/naco/bfmguide.html

And while we are not required to do so, it is good cataloging citizenship to update non-LC bib records in WorldCat with the correct access points, whether they are held by CUS or not. At a minimum, you must do the ones that are held by CUS plus change the access points in our local catalog. If the number is overwhelming, you can ask someone in DbAM to do the Roger changes and you can email OCLC at bibchange@oclc.org to change the WorldCat records.

Note that you should only update English-language cataloging records in WorldCat, however.

Appendix -- Searching Tips

  • When you are revising an existing NAR, it is helpful to search again to see what additional information you may be able to find.

  • Search for more than one form, e.g.:

    Fowler, Esther Miller
    Fowler, E.
    Miller, E.
    Miller, Esther
    Miller, E. Anne

    *Search both the authorized access point and the variant access points. Be sure to search possible alternative forms of a person’s name to find any authorized access points that may been entered under those forms.  You’re trying to find all the works by (and about) a person. This is even more necessary in languages with multiple surnames, etc.

  • Places to search
    1. LC/NACO Authority File (NAF via OCLC)
    2. OCLC bibliographic records
    3. Your local files
    4. Optionally: LC's OPAC
    5. Occasionally: other reference sources, databases, WWW, etc.

  • You can use OCLC macros to easily search bibliographic and authority files from an access point in a record.

    The "BrowseAuthorityIndex" and the "BrowseBibliographicIndex" macros are built into Connexion. Just put your cursor on an access point, run the macros, and then get the results.

    Record with cursor on an access point:


    Resulting index screen:


Written by Ryan Finnerty, October 19, 2015
Content lifted extensively from the LC RDA NACO training materials: http://www.loc.gov/catworkshop/courses/naco-RDA/index.html